By Matthew D. L. Klein
The rain steadied and soon the small droplets intensified to a steady pour. A drum beat of pitter-patter against the window pane. The wind howled, and the water chimed as it trickled down the spouting, as the sounds of winter burst out into song. Dampening spirits to what could have been the start to a great weekend.
Amber’s face was pressed steely against the pane watching as the water droplets danced across its surface. The cool air pierced through the thin sheet of glass, its chilling touch resting upon her young face. Pools of water formed a muddy mess in the front yard, the streets appeared almost deserted, hardly a car in sight let alone a person. No one in their right mind would risk catching a death of cold out there. There was no chance the kids would be allowed to play outside now. Not that it mattered much to the young girl as her imagination took hold of her immediate reality as she continued to peer seemingly out in to nothingness.
Of all the days why this one? Today was meant to be fun, I had it all planned. I was going to be the princess and the boys my servants and knights. What possibly can we do now we are stuck inside; I’m tired of the toys we have to play with, it isn’t fair.
The young girl dropped her head and soon followed with the pouting of her bottom lip. Sure they could all play inside but it would end the hopes of using the cubby house as the impenetrable castle. And having the gallant pooches as her heroic knights’ steeds. Amber continued to think of how horrible it would be to be left out in the cold and wet. Poor old dogs, Hooch and Lochy, at least they would have each other for company. If only both of them were allowed inside to play with them. The young girl continued in deep thought grooming her hair in vain with her hands as she caught a glimpse of her own reflection.
The cubby house in the backyard would be flooded by now, pools of water would be forming on its floor even by now. An expression of melancholy settled upon her beautiful face as she thought of all her favorite toys in the cubbyhouse drowned in the down pour.
Oh, my cash register, the iron, even worse my Bratz dolls they will all be ruined. It’s going to take me forever to clean up all the mess, I wish this horrid rain would stop. Rain, rain, go away. Come back another day. Nothing!
The cubbyhouse was her favorite place to play, her very own castle with its own flower garden just right out under the window. Baby roses, daisies and marigolds, some of her favorites which she had planted herself. Her little hand prints were embedded at he foot of the planter box. And beside them were even smaller hand prints, her brothers’ Dillon and Cooper, and her cousins’ Joshua, Shawn, Liam , Griffynn and tiny Amelia’s’. All followed in line by age, hers were more prominent than the others, she was the oldest and the smartest of them all. It was her great Uncle and Grandfathers best project ever. It was just last summer gone, over the long weekend that the two brothers attempted their next handyman project. It took hours of deliberation before they even got started but eventually they put their heads together and finally decided on one course of action. Of course it wasn’t the right one by either of their standards. But at least they managed to agree to disagree and just attempt to get the job completed, well almost. Reflecting back in thought of that amazing summer she began to remember how it all came unstuck, literally. And that is why the roof is still leaking.
A great job they did on the cubbyhouse even they took a few more hours than your more professional enthusiastic handyman. Now the structure stood tool enough for her to stand up in and barely reach high enough to touch the ceiling. All that was left was to complete the roof and lower it onto the structure and that is where the problem began. It was a public holiday and by then they had already very low on wood glue and already very low nails. With even more discussion and cussing they finally knocked up the rickety roof with every intention of finishing it later. As a final touch her Grandfather made a picket fence from the left over scrap timber they had, it made it look more homely even with its crooked lining.
“Just a bit of silicon is all she needs”.
She remembered her Grandfathers words, if only they had finished before they started their next project. Then maybe the roof would not be leaking. She returned her attention towards the window peering out almost willing the rain to cease as those words from her Grandfather continued to ring in her ears to the steady beat of the rain.
Amber didn’t pay much attention to the glare from two headlights as they approached. The car pulled up to the curb, the driveway was a busy park lot with most having to find room on the street itself. Suddenly she she came out of her daze as the thud of the car door sounded. She was pleased to notice that it was her Auntie Nicole and Uncle Matt, her Uncle nursed little Griffynn as he tried relentlessly to try and shield him from the battering rain. It was slippery under foot but they surprisingly made it to the front porch in a mad dash lucky not to have loose their footing as they traversed the uneven paved driveway.
Another Boy, great. Why am I the only girl? At least Griffynn treats me nice and gives me cuddles. Though he is still just a baby, it won;t be long before my brother or the other older boys teach him to be nasty towards me.
Amber sighed as she a she reminisced about the last time she visited Griffynn’s house. There wasn’t a lot to do, though there were plenty of toys to play with. It was just that they were little kids toys. But that day her family took her to a wonderful park. Hannah Watts Park was perfect, for all the kids to have fun at, almost more fun than her cubbyhouse, their was bike trails and playground equipment with enough variety to even keep her Uncle Matt entertained. He was what her mum described as a big kid, he was fun. Two years had almost gone past since that warm spring day at the park. The overwhelming scent of sunscreen that the elders smothered all over the kids was something she could not forget. The sun was high but the breeze was cool as it gently blew through the trees creating a rustling from tree top to tree top, it was as if the trees themselves were speaking to each other. The gentle willows and the stout gums which lined the park and the banks of the windy creek. Due to early spring rains the creek flowed freely, allowing the ducks and ducklings to enjoy the open ponds that it led in to. It was a moment that she would never forget, a golden memory of fun and laughter and good times with all her family.
The ring of the door bell broke her thought of concentration as her imaginary bubble burst, so to did she realise that she was still at her Nana’s house and the musical symphony of winter continued to sound upon the roof and the windows. Suddenly the rain burst in to a roar as hail stones started to pelt down and a gale of wind howled as they bombarded the Earth. It was so loud she hardly heard the muffled sounds of her Auntie & Uncle as they entered the front door and approached her.
“Uncle Matt. There isn’t anything to do the boys are all playing by themselves and well I am not allowed to join in. Could you perhaps do some drawing with me?”
“Of course we can Amber, let’s see what our imaginations can come up with.”
To be continued……….